Shown performing at the Liberty Theater are,
from left, Nolton Semien, Mitch Reed,
Joe Hall, Lisa Reed, and Mary Jane
Broussard. Click on thumbnails for larger
Mary Jane Broussard is shown at the Liberty
Theater. The left shot of Nolton Semien was
taken at Festivals Acadiens in 2006 when
he was performing with other Creole
musicians including Jeffery Broussard and
D'Jalma Garnier. The three have played
together as the Trio Kreole.
Blake Miller is shown on fiddle. The shot
below shows the Louisiana Cane Cutters
at the 2007 Breaux Bridge Crawfish
Festival. Jay Miller is shown on drums.
New CDs released
in 2006 and 2007
Joe Hall has released two
CDs in the span of less than a year, one in mid-2006 that also
features two other Creole musicians, Nolton Semien and Mary Jane
Ardoin Broussard, and the other in May 2007 with a new band, the
Louisiana Cane Cutters.
La Danse Finit Pas:
Classic Louisiana Creole Music, the 2006 CD, includes songs that
Joe learned by visiting the Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore at
the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, especially recordings of
Freeman Fontenot (1900-1986), a Creole musician from the Basile area
who, according to Lisa Reed in her liner notes, was famous for his
dance hall and for his work in preserving Creole culture (he is
interviewed in Ann Savoy’s Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People).
In addition to dedicating
the CD to Freeman Fontenot’s memory, Joe Hall performs three Freeman
Fontenot accordion solos: “La femme des autres,” “Les deux cousins,”
and “Fais-do-do bébé” (a mazurka). Hall draws on his own direct
musical ancestry to perform “King Ned’s One-Step,” a song by his
grandfather, Clement Ned, on which fiddler Mitch Reed beautifully
doubles the accordion melody.
Born and raised in
Eunice, Hall also learned from the late Bois Sec Ardoin and has been
influenced by other Creole musicians, including Nolton Semien, whom
he met when Nolton was playing in 2005 at the Blue Moon Saloon in
Lafayette. Nolton has passed along some of his knowledge of old-time
music, including help with the Creole version of “La Cucaracha” that
Hall plays as the first cut. On the CD, Nolton plays and sings “The
Seventy-Three Special” and his accordion is featured on “Acadian
Mary Broussard, another
musician with deep roots in the Creole culture, plays the accordion
on the instrumental “The Jennings Two-Step” and plays and sings
“J’ai passé devant ta porte.” Her uncle on her mother’s side was
the late Creole fiddler Carlton Frank and her father was Bois Sec
Lisa Reed’s notes include
more information about the other musicians: D’Jalma Garnier on
guitar, Gus Ardoin on bass, and Dexter Ardoin on drums. For the last
cut on the CD, Joe Hall offers his rendition of an old-time closing
number, “There’s No Place Like Home,” which turns into a lively
two-step. There's no place like home to dance, and this CD
fulfills the promise of its
title, la danse finit pas.
Joe Hall and the
Louisiana Cane Cutters released their CD Good Times, Good Music
May 5, 2007, at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. In addition to
Hall on accordion and vocals, the CD features Blake Miller on
fiddle. Miller, who played both fiddle and accordion with the New
Pine Grove Boys, among other groups, and now is bassist with the
Pine Leaf Boys, does a fine job of Creole-style fiddling to match
“Back of Town,” “Yo Yo Two-Step,” “Mamou Hot Step,” and “Fond
Culotte.” Joe Hall handles the vocals on “Ouvre la porte,” “Cherokee
Waltz,” “Slept Outside Last Night,” “Mon coeur fait mal,” “Mr.
Menard” (a version of “Petite ou la grosse”), “Grand Marie” (to the
tune of the “Midland Two-Step”), and “La robe à parasol,” an old
mazurka folk tune that Hall previously recorded with Mitch Reed (“Taille
ta robe de mode à parasol,” referring to a way of cutting a dress in
the parasol style—according to Eraste Carrière, a parasol is a full
Other musicians are Kevin
Murphy on guitar (the recording was made at his studio in
Arnaudville), Jay Miller on drums, and Dexter Ardoin on bass. Tony
Daigle plays bass on one number.
In these two CDs, Joe
Hall demonstrates his commitment to old style Creole music and his
ability to take that traditional sound into the 21st century with the
Louisiana Cane Cutters.
The numbers for bookings
listed on the 2006 CD are (337) 296-0730 and (337) 780-2286.